Church of Saint Barbara
Goiás, Vila Boa de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil
The church is located on a small hill at the city’s northern exit, along the old path to Barra, a mining camp near Vila Boa. Its forecourt offers splendid views over the surrounding countryside, with the urban centre being framed by the Serra Dourada hills, and for this reason it is much sought after by visitors and local residents. The church nevertheless remains closed for most of the year for security reasons and is only used for festivals and celebrations on the day of its patron saint, 4th December. Construction began in 1775, after the worshippers applied to the respective vicar. The process was supervised by Cristovão José Ferreira and finished five years later. A staircase, originally made of soapstone, must be climbed to reach the forecourt. The façade and floor plan are extremely simple, but the church stands out from the rest because of its use of soapstone masonry. The front is marked by a central door and two balcony windows at the level of the choir, surmounted by a triangular pediment. There are doubts about whether bell towers existed next to the main building in remote times. The bell is currently located in the forecourt, next to the church, in a simple wooden structure. The Church of Saint Barbara is a prominent landmark in Goiás and can be seen from various points of the city. It is protected by state and federal law.